Is this sentence grammatically incorrect (or, am I being over-analytical)? What first comes to mind is, “are we asking if instructors with English majors cause their students to over-analyze the work given them?” Alternatively, “does the student in pursuit of an English major wind up being over-analytical at some point during the enterprise?” There does not appear to be anyone questioning the structure of this sentence, which may in fact, upset Strunk and White’s, “The Elements of Style,” any edition.
The antecedent consists of a group of words, which causes the consequence (relative) to remain a bit ambiguous…it would appear that something like, “Do students who pursue English majors become over-analytical,” or alternatively, “Does pursuit of an English major cause the student to become over-analytical,” seem to be a bit clearer.
Seemingly, one who grows up speaking, thus reading, and writing in a specific language need nothing more than that (growing up speaking, reading and writing the language) to manipulate it with a degree of facility worthy of communication. It has always been a mystery to this author, as to “why” this might be an endeavor, worthy of pursuit beyond that just stated. Nevertheless, the pursuit seems to engage and even challenge many in ways incomprehensible to this author.
Two plus two equals four despite the prerogatives of any instructor, as a result, the answer stands justified independent of a teacher and even transcends opinions altogether. This type of pursuit always seems far safer than any endeavor where the student through necessity relies upon the opinion and perspective of an instructor. That type of endeavor necessitates a degree of courage beyond the scope of this author’s disposition. Opinions always offer a degree of fear and trepidation; they leave one resting on the hinge of another’s facility for reason, a situation tenuous at best under any circumstance.
A brief examination of the word “analytic,” reveals several disciplines in which the term is associated, notably, none are associated with English. Instead, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, philosophy, and even social sciences, the closest one may come to English is analytic language. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic
The foremost reason for this author’s excursion into this topic is associated with the observation of how many English professors fancy themselves as erudite, sophisticated, and even introspective to an extent and degree that may eventually enable them to become legends in their own minds someday. Unfortunately, none of this translates to analytical let alone over-analytical.
This author’s experience has consistently shown English professors so desirous of validation for having an ability for critical analysis, only the persistence of that desire, reveals such poignant absence. It appears another author who chose to write on this topic has a similar distaste for what she experienced.
Perhaps, the absence of structure is the cause for misapplication in disciplines devoid of any logical formalism. Perhaps, pursuit of a degree in English, through necessity, should require a tour of complex analysis, or even real analysis as a prerequisite. This may introduce a degree of humility and respect for terms like “analytic” so that when deployed it is due to a facility for manipulation founded upon demonstration, “not some posture adopted upon the basis of (self) opinion, and conjecture, easily opined in the context of momentary absence of reason.” Students subjected to such indignity are in addition, effectively a captive audience, not only do they have to swallow the delusion, in many cases they must feed it in order to pass onward in their educational pursuits. To some degree, whether or not they feed it appropriately is entirely the opinion of the instructor; hopefully, he or she will analyze the situation and react accordingly.